7 Unexpected Places Germs Congregate
Ready for a truth bomb? Even if you work hard to keep your home clean and free from pathogenic bacteria and viruses, you are most likely missing some important areas. (Yes, even if you are diligent kill germs on heavily touched surfaces, such as computers, phones, counters, doorknobs, and faucet levers.)
Don’t worry: we don’t suggest you to have to hit every object or risk getting sick – we’re just saying tackle those hot spots with a little soap and water or some quality disinfectant, like 3M TB Quat Disinfectant ready to use disinfectant cleaner, will make sure that you really bring your antibacterial A-game.
Ready to get to work? Here are some of the most commonly overlooked household items, along with tips on how to banish as many germs as possible.
Chances are, you already know that germs are present on your doorknobs, faucets, and appliance handles. But have you ever stopped to think that your light switches are just as prone to them? You – and everyone else you share your home with – touch these places several times a day, which means you’ll want to clean them regularly and hit them with disinfectant.
Just use a damp cloth to wipe off dust and dirt, being careful not to let any liquid get behind the switch. Then use a disinfectant wipe or cotton ball soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol and dab all sides of the switch and backplate. (Again, be careful that no liquid gets inside.) Allow to air dry.
If you have one, your microwave’s handle and trackpad are also some of the most sprouted places your hands rest on during the day. According to a study, 48 percent of microwave door handles contained enough bacteria to be considered a high risk of disease transmission.
To clean this often used gadget, wipe off any grease or dirt from the grip and touchpad first with soapy water, then rinse and dry. To remove bacteria and virus germs, use disinfectant spray, then wipe off after the amount of time indicated on the package directions.
Exercise is great for your overall health, but the equipment itself often contains many pathogens. In study, the researchers found rhinoviruses (the infection that causes the common cold) on 63% of the fitness center equipment they tested. But you don’t have to leave your house to encounter dirty fitness equipment. Items in home gyms – weights, yoga mats, and bike machines – aren’t free of sweat, odor, dust, and dirt.
To keep things shiny, bring home some good gym etiquette: get in the habit of spraying any machines you use with a multi-purpose cleaner after each use. Other personal equipment, such as yoga mats, can last about a week between wipeSays Carolyn Forte, director of the cleaning lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. (Of course, if you sweat a lot or the carpet tends to trap odors, clean it more often.)
Just mix a few drops of mild dish soap and two cups of lukewarm water in a spray, then spray the solution on the carpet and wipe the surfaces with a soft cloth. Finally, rinse the carpet with a damp clothand lay the mat flat or hang it over a shower rod to dry completely before putting it back together.
The contents of your wallet, especially paper money and credit cards, are handled by many people throughout the day. In fact, a study found that the $ 1 bills tested were teeming with hundreds of microorganisms, including oral microbes and DNA from pets and viruses. Another study revealed something even more alarming on paper money: pathogens like E. coli, salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus. Not to mention that germs can lurk in the collars around credit card numbers, says Forte.
While you can’t do much with paper, you can rely on credit cards to minimize germs in your wallet. To quickly clean plastic, wipe each one with alcohol or a disinfectant wipe. Then let them air dry before putting them back in your wallet.
According to research Made at the University of Arizona by germ expert Dr. Charles Gerba, 50% of the vacuum brushes tested contained mold and bacteria, including E. coli. Plus, says Gerba, a dirty vacuum can transfer germs from one surface to another, contaminating, rather than cleaning.
AT make sure your vacuum cleaner is clean and working efficiently, empty the container after one or two uses and the bags must be replaced when they are 2/3 or 3/4 full. You’ll also want to give all washable filters a deep rinse at least every two months depending on usage (check your machine’s manual for details). Don’t forget the brush heads: remove the bristles and threads, then clean with lukewarm water, massaging the bristles to remove encrusted dust and debris. Let it air dry completely before replacing or using it.
You Sleep with 1.5 million mites every night. (It’s alarming, isn’t it?) In fact, a 10 ounce pillow will double in weight in three years, thanks to an accumulation of said mites and dead skin cells. Be sure to wash sheets and pillow cases once a week, cover mattresses and pillows with liners, and vacuum your mattress regularly, says Forte. The plus: put your pillows in the washing machine two to four times a year. If they smell funny even after you’ve washed them well, it’s time to replace them.
While some items in your bathroom – like your toilet – are likely to be cleaned regularly, there are some items that could get overlooked. Take your shower curtain, for example. In a study, researchers found that the shower curtain was the most sprouted item in the entire bathroom, harboring more than 60 times more germs than toilet seats.
The good news: you don’t have to throw away your shower curtain, even if it is spotted with mold, said Forte. For plastic or vinyl curtains, wash on a gentle or short cycle with detergent. Add two to three bath towels for extra cleaning agitation, then hang them to dry, or put them in the dryer on low heat or allow them to air dry for one to two minutes to remove excess water. moisture before replacing them. (Be careful though – they can melt, so don’t wander away and keep an eye out for them.) For fabric curtains, follow specific care instructions on the label, Forte says.
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